Stalker “Love Hurts” Review (Season 1 Episode 19)

Stalker Fun and Games Episode 17 03

On the penultimate episode of “Stalker,” as the main plotline of the season wrapped up last time around, a new one started up on this one, in “Love Hurts.” Of course, Beth was still reeling from her experiences in the last episode, to the point where she wasn’t sure who she was anymore. With word of her past as Michelle now common knowledge, she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to be that person- or if she could even be Beth anymore. Though she tells the precinct’s resident psychiatrist she still loves her job and what she does, she nonetheless asks for more time away to think things over, not sure if she wants to return or not.

Meanwhile, Vicki (Mira Sorvino) continues to fill the occupancy in her absence, and is using the opportunity to look into a past case of her own. It seems that a woman was strangled to death about five years ago, after Vicki had already left the TAU herself. The main suspect was Stan Gardiner, but he claimed to have an alibi, his friend Barry Newley. Unfortunately for him, Barry was MIA at the time, and had only recently come forward, admitting that he’d run for it because he’d been selling drugs with Barry at the time and was afraid he’d end up in jail, too.

But guilt and perhaps the statue of limitations had changed his tune, and now he was coming forward to vouch for his former friend. This meant that there was a good chance the conviction of Stan would be overturned, and if what Barry said was true, then the woman’s killer was still out there. So, Vicki looks into it, but finds herself unable to remain objective, and for good reasons. As such, she has Beth look into the case and she verifies that Stan has a good case for his innocence, and that he will indeed most likely be exonerated.

However, Beth has bad news as well: the most likely suspect for the crime in his wake is Will (Adam Kaufman, “State of Affairs”), Vicki’s ex-husband- hence her not being able to look at the case objectively. She later meets with Will, ostensibly to discuss selling their old house together, but in actuality to quiz him about the case and gauge his reaction. Will does indeed seem rattled by the revelation of Stan’s potential exoneration, but Vicki gets a call from Janice and has to leave before she can explore the matter further.

Meanwhile, in several other seemingly unrelated cases, we see one well-off woman attacked in her own home by a man who lay await for her inside when she got home. The man stabs her to death and vacates the premise, but uses a knife found there and leaves little trace of being there, beyond signs of having broken in before she got there. Then a similar thing happens to the single Pam (Shanola Hampton, “Shameless”), when she is also attacked by a man lying in wait for her at her place as well. However, she manages to attack her attacker, injuring him and macing him in the eyes and getting away with only a minor stab wound, once again from a weapon taken from her own home, in this case, a letter opener.

In her case, there are a number of suspects, including her sex addict ex-husband, Darren (David Anders, “Alias”), who attends meetings to that end, in light of his having cheated on her a multitude of times and has made it clear he wants her back. There’s also Clay (Jay Hayden, “Criminal Minds”), a former co-worker of Pam’s who blames her for his not only getting fired for sexual harassment, but putting it on his permanent record, making it hard for him to get a job. He admits to confronting her at her place about it, but swears he only wanted to talk and she was the one who attacked him. However, both men alibi out at the time of Pam’s assault, so it’s back to the drawing board.

Be that as it may, Clay is later assaulted, and a look at video of the incident makes it clear that it was likely Darren. Did his friend at the love-and-sex addiction meetings who vouched for him lie about his being with her? Further mudding the waters was the fact that she claimed that it was Pam who cheated on Darren, not the other way around. This proves not to be true, as Pam verifies, but she says she told him that to get him off her back and get him back for cheating on her, thinking it would hurt him enough to leave her once and for all. Obviously, it didn’t.

Sure enough, Darren stalks Pam at her volunteer job at a local church helping the homeless. After knocking out a preacher (!), he then approaches Pam, but instead of hurting her, he hurts himself. Meanwhile, the team goes to his place and discovers a shrine to Pam that used to be on the wall but has since been torn to pieces. Larsen finds evidence that Darren might be off his meds and is bipolar, and they make some calls to try and find out where Pam is, finally getting the information they need from her sister, who points them in the direction of the church.

Larsen confronts Darren and Pam flees to safety. He pulls a gun on him, but when he goes to put it away after Darren seemingly surrenders, Darren rushes at him and Larsen hits him with a baton and wrangles him to the ground, cuffing and arresting him. Pam verifies that Darren never touched her and that he only injured himself, and admits she had no idea he was bipolar. This gets Janice to thinking, especially since both Darren and Clay had alibis for Pam’s attack, and she does some research. Sure enough, she discovers the connections between Pam’s attack and the woman earlier in the show and calls Janice with the news that they may have a serial stalker on their hands.

The kicker: the victims all had one thing in common- their accused stalkers all attended love-and-sex addiction meetings, as with Darren. I hate to say it, but the limited presence of known actor Kristoffer Polaha (“Backstrom,” “Ringer”) at said meetings says to me that he’s likely the prime suspect. Sure, he’s not exactly a household name, but why cast a relatively well–known face if you’re only going to give him a line or two? Ergo, he’s most likely the culprit. They’d have done better to cast an unknown, but then I suppose, with the show already cancelled, it might not really matter.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of the show getting resurrected by another network, or a streaming service, so the show may not be over just yet. The good news is that CBS doesn’t own the show, so the owners have the right to shop the show around to other places, certainly. As the show has a halfway decent following, you never know. Also, stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott are a real-life couple now, so they have a vested interest to return, should the opportunity arise. Plus, it was clear from tonight’s episode that they were making them a couple on the show as well, so there you go. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out, but until then, we’ve still got one more episode to go.

This was a pretty action-packed episode, with a whole lot going on. There were many disparate storylines, most of them seemingly unconnected, though that proved to not be the case with two of them, ultimately. I definitely like the direction things are headed in, and I like the idea of Vicki tempting Beth back to work with a new case that Vicki herself has a vested interest in. I don’t think she took the job to replace Beth, but to use her to help her solve the case. I think it was a means to an end, in other words. I think once Beth comes back for real, Vicki will walk away, no questions asked. But I do think Beth needs a little more prodding and the scenario with Jack doesn’t hurt matters, in terms of sweetening the deal. We shall see. Maybe. Even if this proves to be a one season deal, I do think they are going out on a strong note thus far.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Stalker”? Would you like to see the show return on another network or Netflix or the like? Do you think it’s worth resurrecting? Do you like the cast as it currently stands, including Mira Sorvino? Do you think Vicki’s husband is the killer of that woman that other man was accused of killing? Do you think I’m right about the identity of the serial stalker as the man from the sex addict group? Do you think the show will wrap up this storyline or end on a cliffhanger? Sound off down below and see you next week for what may be the potentially last episode of the show ever!